cleaning your oven without harsh chemicals

Most ovens are self cleaning which means you do not have to use harsh chemicals to obtain a clean oven. The high temperature of the self cleaning oven reduces the baked on soil to an easily removable ash.

Self-cleaning ovens work by heating themselves to a higher than normal temperature (800-900-degrees) A damp cloth should take care of any residue.

Large spills must be wiped up; they will burn and may permanently stain the oven surface. Dust continuous-cleaning ovens weekly and self-cleaning ovens after the cleaning cycle, using the dusting attachment of your vacuum to remove dried food particles or ash.

Oven racks can be cleaned by placing them in a bathtub filled with warm water and 1/2 cup of ammonia. Let the racks soak for half an hour and rinse.
Older ovens require some type of cleaner to remove the baked on grease. Most cleaners contain lye which turn the baked on materials into a soapy residue that can be wiped away. Lye based products should only be used on porcelain coated metal surfaces. Never use lye on bare metal or any self-cleaning oven.

Lye is one of the most dangerous chemicals found in your home. When using lye, protect the eyes with goggles, wear long sleeves, and, of course, gloves to protect yourself from the corrosive properties of lye.

There are non-lye products available that use organic surfactants activated by the heat to break down the grease and grime.

To clean the oven with natural ingredients, try using baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the oven and then spray the baking soda with water. Let the mixture sit overnight. In the morning, remove the residue with a wet sponge. Most, if not all of the remaining material will easily be removed. If there is any baked-on residue left, sprinkle some more baking soda and add some white vinegar. The mixture of baking soda and vinegar will start to bubble. Wait thirty minutes for the mixture to work and then remove the contents with a wet sponge.

There are plenty of oven cleaners on the market, but if you’ve ever gagged and wheezed your way through cleaning your oven, you know that the fumes can be unpleasant to say the least. Good news – there’s a better way!

To clean your oven more easily, pour 1/2 cup of ammonia into a glass or ceramic bowl and place in a cool, closed oven. Leave it overnight, and in the morning, use paper towels or a sponge to remove all the soil. If there are some spots that persist, scrub gently with a fine grade steel wool. Rinse with a sponge dipped in warm, soapy water. It works just as well as pricy oven cleaners, and the fumes are much easier to tolerate.

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